St. Charles East wins River, Neuqua Valley takes Valley in UEC Meet

SHARE St. Charles East wins River, Neuqua Valley takes Valley in UEC Meet

Jordan Shead had a sheepish smile as she recalled her win in the 200-meter dash at Friday’s combined girls Upstate Eight Conference Track Meet at Geneva.

“That’s just how my legs work,” the lanky sprinter said. “They’re just so long it takes ’em awhile to get going.”

The St. Charles East junior edged Batavia freshman Hannah Schlaman at the finish line, winning by a mere .14 of a second (25.81-25.95).

It was one of three event wins she had a hand in for the Saints, also taking the 400 in 57.22 seconds and running a leg of the 400 relay (49.74).

“We were all really excited it was so warm today, especially the sprinters,” she said. “With the temperature soaring into the 90s, it was nice not having to worry about muscles tightening up and coming out here and running fast.”

The seven teams in each UEC division combined for the meet for stronger competition, but it was scored separately and together. St. Charles East rolled to the River title with 163 points and Neuqua Valley won the Valley title with 175.

Geneva edged Batavia 128-122 for second in the River and Metea Valley tipped Waubonsie for second in the Valley 141-139.

When scored as one meet, the Saints cruised with 142 points to easily outdistance Neuqua (99.5).

“I think what we wanted to do was a dress rehearsal for next week going into sectional to put our best team together,” Saints coach Tim Wolf said. “I was pleased with how the girls performed.

“I was more impressed with Jordan’s win in the 200 than the 400. It was great to see her get pushed. That doesn’t always happen, and she thrives on competition.”

All four of Wolf’s relays posted River wins that were tops overall, including his 1,600 relay that consisted of freshmen Casey McNichols and Kathleen Strohaker and sophomores Keeley Flanigan and Elizabeth Chmelik.

Allison Chmelik improved her PR by nearly a foot to win the triple jump in 38-6.

“That puts her among the top two in state,” said Wolf.

Neuqua Valley competed without individual standout Maya Neal, who was resting tight Achilles’ tendons and a sore foot to make sure she’s ready to go for sectional.

“But she was here cheering on her teammates,” Wildcats coach Gretchen Parejko said.

In her stead, Kenna Lonergan and Jazmine Mensah stepped up to help fill the slack. Lonergan, a sophomore, won the high jump (5-5) then took the 100 hurdles in 16.37.

“I didn’t expect that,” Lonergan said of the hurdles win.

“I told her before the race, ‘It’s all you, you go out there and have a good night’ and she did,” Parejko said. “She really came on strong over the last three hurdles. We just wanted to get through it healthy and shoot for some PRs as we get ready for sectional next week.”

Mensah, a junior, won the Valley triple jump (34-7.5). Metea Valley throwers, junior Holly Julifs and freshman Courtney Morgan, dominated their events, flip-flopping for a 1-2 finish in each. Julifs took the discus in 147-7 and Morgan the shot put in 41-5.

Batavia senior Taylor Stieve hit a hurdle with her knee early in the 100s and finished seventh, but came back strong to win the 300s in an impressive 46.55 seconds.

Geneva’s Kathryn Adelman took the 800 (2:20.55), St. Charles East’s Tori Scull the 1,600 (5:10.54) and Streamwood’s Gabby Juarez the 3,200 (11:33.92).

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